January 28, 2023

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The James Webb Telescope reveals forbidden galaxies billions of years ago

For the first time, new photos from James Webb Space Telescope The star-barred galaxies were revealed at a time when the universe was a quarter of its current age.

Stellar bars are elongated features of stars that extend from the centers of galaxies to their outer disks. They transport gas to the central regions, which promotes star formation.

In a statement from the University of Texas, she said that discovering barred galaxies will require scientists to adjust their theories about galaxy evolution, and she notes that the Hubble Space Telescope has never detected bars at such young ages.

For example, while the galaxy EGS-23205 appears blurry in the Hubble image, the image from Webb is more defined, revealing a clear starbar spiral galaxy.

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JWST’s ability to map galaxies at high resolution and at longer infrared wavelengths than Hubble allows it to peer through dust and unveil the underlying structure and mass of distant galaxies. This can be seen in these two images of the galaxy EGS23205, seen about 11 billion years ago. In the HST image (left, captured in the near-infrared filter), the galaxy is little more than a disc-shaped smudge obscured by dust and affected by the glow of young stars, but in the corresponding JWST infrared image (captured last summer), it is A beautiful spiral galaxy with a clear star bar.
(Credit: NASA/CEERS/The University of Texas at Austin)

The James Webb Space Telescope has a larger mirror, which gives it greater light-gathering capacity and allows it to see farther with higher resolution.

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as notes Infrared wavelengths are longer than in HubbleHe can also see through the dust better.

“I took one look at this data, and I said, ‘We’re dropping everything else! survey (CEERS).

Dave Chaney, Principal Optical Test Engineer at Ball Aerospace, inspects six primary mirror segments, critical elements of NASA's James Webb Space Telescope, prior to testing in X-ray cooling &  The refrigeration facility at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala.

Dave Chaney, Principal Optical Test Engineer at Ball Aerospace, inspects six primary mirror segments, critical elements of NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope, prior to testing in X-ray cooling & The refrigeration facility at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala.
(Credit: NASA/MSFC/David Higginbotham)

Another galaxy, EGS-24268, is also around 11 billion years old – making two forbidden galaxies exist farther back in time than previously discovered.

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The international group of researchers highlighted these galaxies and showed examples of four others from more than 8 billion years ago in an article in the Astrophysical Journal Letters.

A montage of JWST images shows six examples of barred galaxies, two of which represent the highest recovery times quantified and characterized to date.  The labels at the top left of each number show each galaxy's retrograde time, which ranges from 8.4 to 11 billion years ago (Gyr), when the universe was a mere 40% to 20% of its current age.

A montage of JWST images shows six examples of barred galaxies, two of which represent the highest recovery times quantified and characterized to date. The labels at the top left of each number show each galaxy’s retrograde time, which ranges from 8.4 to 11 billion years ago (Gyr), when the universe was a mere 40% to 20% of its current age.
(Credit: NASA/CEERS/The University of Texas at Austin)

Two undergraduates played a major visual role Browse hundreds of galaxies And look for those that can be analyzed with a more rigorous mathematical approach.

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The bars also help form supermassive black holes In the centers of galaxies, directing the gas part of the way.

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The existence of these rods defies theoretical models, the university said, and the team will test different models in additional work.

“This early detection of the bars means that models of galaxy evolution now have a new path through the bars to accelerate the production of new stars at early ages,” Jogee said.